AHEAD OF what is certain to be an emotional return to Glanford Park today, Nigel Adkins admits his only priority is securing three points for Sheffield United.
The Blades’ manager spent four years at Scunthorpe United and is widely considered to be the club’s most successful manager, having twice clinched promotion from League One and led the Iron to Wembley on two occasions.
“I took Reading back to Scunthorpe in the cup and won 1-0,” said Adkins. “We also went back for Matt Sparrow’s testimonial. They will always have a place in my heart and they are a real family club.
“But it is all about Sheffield United for us now. Andy (Crosby) and Lee Turnbull were also there with me. Lee much longer than me, too. So, although we are looking forward to going back, we will be giving everything to win the game for Sheffield United. Sheffield United Football Club is what all our energies and focus are concentrated on now.”
United gave their promotion hopes a timely boost last weekend with a 1-0 win over high-flying Coventry City.
Billy Sharp netted the winner after coming off the bench and is pushing for a start against the club where he made his name as a striker.
“The players are all up for it,” added Adkins, who brought Sharp back to Bramall Lane during the summer. “I always feel as if we are going to score so keeping goals out is key.
“Billy is a goalscorer and he had a point to prove last week. Billy will always score goals for us. It doesn’t matter how they go in, they all count the same. You have to get yourself into the right position to score. That is what you get rewarded for.
“With regards to selection, the way we are doing it is, ‘You’ve got the shirt so show you should stay in the team’. We want a consistency.”